Michael Battalio


23 February 2014

Winter's toll

Winter has been hard on the garden this year. We had the fourth coldest Dec-Feb period for Bryan. Consequently several plants that should live through most winters did not make it including a plant I bought just during the fall. I’m most disappointed in the lavender which I meticulously watered during the summer in the hopes that once established it would survive on its own. We had several episodes of winter precipitation, and the weather station recorded a low 21.6 in January. While that is nowhere near the lowest temp that we usually get (in USDA zone 8b for Bryan temps can get to 15 F), temps were cold for long periods. Additionally, we have gotten very little rain since the large amounts last Fall.

On the garden front I’ve been working on getting beds ready for spring. I’ve finally edged the beds along the street (below) and planted some perennials in there (mostly to take up the space the lavender was supposed to fill).
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I planted peas a few weeks ago and it has taken them this long to finally start to grow thanks to the cold. Some broccoli is already starting to head much smaller than I wanted. I believe as a result of planting in the shade and the cold. Spinach is also starting to grow. I have some more in the greenhouse that I will set out in a couple of weeks. I planted a spring crop of broccoli today.
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Lastly, I built the second raised bed in the side yard. I’ve put some day lilies and irises in.
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I’m waiting for a shipment of roses to come in; one will be placed in the blank spot between the windows in the above photo. Soon I will order some foundation plants for the eastern front of the house. I’m still debating whether to tear out the healthy boxwood on the western front.